As a senior rider who has done his own wrenching for the past 50 plus years, I’ve successfully tackled most bike building, maintenance, and repair issues with which one is confronted. However, until recently, I avoided building wheels as I thought the process was too daunting. But, I finally placed wheel building as an item on my bucket list.
When I started researching wheel building components and techniques, I was astonished by the extent of conflicting, or erroneous information provided by print and online sources, including manufacturers’ websites — it was as if wheel building was a cult speciality and practitioners were forbidden to provide clear, correct procedures to an outsider. It also became clear how little most bike shop employees knew about wheel building.
Enter ProWheelBuilder. I was fortunate to find I lived reasonably close to the store and I made an appointment to meet with Richard, the owner. Upon our meeting, I entered the discussion believing I had a pretty good idea of the wheels I wanted to build and was primarily looking for components and encouragement. But, it quickly became clear that even the selection of components was more involved than I initially thought. Fortunately, Richard has an encyclopedic knowledge of the combinations and permutations of components and benefits thereof — I won’t go into details here, but suffice it to say you’ll be better off telling Richard what you want to do with the wheels rather than asking for specific components. Richard will offer several viable options at varying price points. You will be very happy with the result whether you decide to build the wheels, or have Richard build them.
To the last point, I can tell you I built several wheelsets for the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment. But, frankly, because of the expense of the required tools, it is far less expensive to have Richard build the wheels for you. Further, despite being fairly adept with tools, it took me about 4-hours to do what Richard can do in 20-30 minutes. Richard has years of experience and has invented, patented, and manufactured a number of wheel building jigs and tools for the industry and utilizes these tools and expensive measuring devices to facilitate his quick and extremely accurate build process.
I will also tell you that once you build, or buy a hand-built set of wheels, you will no longer be satisfied with the typical machine built wheels that are delivered on most new bicycles, or sold in big box stores as replacement, or upgrade wheels. You can really tell the difference.
I have been very happy with Richard’s advice and assistance with my builds. I highly recommend ProWheelBuilder’s products and services to anyone wanting a quality wheelset.
July 30, 2015
Have been riding my wheels (H Son Archetype rims; White Industries hubs and double butted Sapim spokes) long enough now to review them. They're fantastic, were perfectly true out of the box and have not needed any tuning or maintenance yet. Not a wobble front or rear after 800 or so miles, much of it on rough pavement. Service from Prowheelbuilder was terrific. Richard spent a lot of time with me on the phone explaining and reexplaining the differences between butted and bladed spokes and other points and making recommendations. The pricing was also very competitive and fair. Wheels came shipped in simple but smartly designed cardboard boxes without damage or hassle. All in all, am very happy with the wheels, and concerns I had about buying custom wheels from a company located on the other side of the country proved to be a non-issue.